Brace for more quarter-final drama as the Czech Republic face Denmark and Ukraine tackle England.
The UEFA EURO 2020 quarter-finals conclude on Saturday with surprise packages Denmark and the Czech Republic going head-to-head, while Ukraine attempt to become the first side to breach England’s defence at the tournament.
We preview the games in Baku and Rome, with the two victors due to meet in Wednesday’s semi-final at Wembley.
The weight of history is very much on the Czech Republic’s side as they begin the day’s action against fellow dark horses Denmark. Of the 25 times these countries have met, the Danes have emerged victorious just twice – and never in a European Championship fixture.
The Czechs may have squeezed through to the knockout stage as one of the best third-placed teams, but they have conceded just twice in four games at this EURO. Moreover, they showed their ruthlessness in dispatching the Netherlands 2-0 in the round of 16, Patrik Schick notching his fourth goal of the finals.
Denmark will underestimate them at their peril, although that seems unlikely from a side that lost their first two matches in Group B. The Scandinavians have been building momentum since, however, burying eight goals in their last two outings – including four without reply against Wales in the last 16.
Key stat: This is Denmark’s first EURO quarter-final since 2004, when they went down 3-0 against the Czechs in Portugal. That remains the Czechs’ biggest win in a EURO finals and Denmark’s joint heaviest defeat.
Like the protagonists in the day’s early game, not many would have predicted Ukraine to get this far. Andriy Shevchenko’s side struggled to click in the group stage, taking just three points from a possible nine, but were much improved against Sweden in the round of 16. Artem Dovbyk’s winner seconds before the end of extra time sparked wild celebrations as Ukraine reached a EURO quarter-final for the first time ever.
There were joyful scenes in London too, as England got the better of old rivals Germany on Tuesday to advance to the last eight. Unbeaten and yet to let in a goal at EURO 2020, the Three Lions appear to have found the right formula as they face their game away from Wembley at this tournament.
Key stat: England are the only side yet to concede a goal at EURO 2020 and have kept clean sheets in two of their three most recent meetings with Ukraine (W1 D2), including their 1-0 group stage victory in Donetsk during EURO 2012.